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The Shape Of Things To Come (The Everyman library) Paperback – 7 Oct 1993

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Product details

  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Phoenix; New edition edition (7 Oct. 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0460873512
  • ISBN-13: 978-0460873512
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2.5 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,055,047 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Herbert George Wells was born in Bromley, Kent, England, on September 21, 1866. His father was a professional cricketer and sometime shopkeeper, his mother a former lady's maid. Although "Bertie" left school at fourteen to become a draper's apprentice (a life he detested), he later won a scholarship to the Normal School of Science in London, where he studied with the famous Thomas Henry Huxley. He began to sell articles and short stories regularly in 1893.

In 1895, his immediately successful novel rescued him from a life of penury on a schoolteacher's salary. His other "scientific romances" - The Island of Dr. Moreau (1896), The Invisible Man (1897), The War of the Worlds (1898), The First Men in the Moon (1901), and The War in the Air (1908) - won him distinction as the father of science fiction.

Henry James saw in Wells the most gifted writer of the age, but Wells, having coined the phrase "the war that will end war" to describe World War I, became increasingly disillusioned and focused his attention on educating mankind with his bestselling Outline of History (1920) and his later utopian works. Living until 1946, Wells witnessed a world more terrible than any of his imaginative visions, and he bitterly observed: "Reality has taken a leaf from my book and set itself to supercede me."

Product Description

Book Description

A prescient look at mankind's future.

About the Author

H.G. Wells was born in Bromley, Kent in 1866. After working as a draper's apprentice and pupil-teacher, he won a scholarship to the Normal School of Science in 1884, studying under T. H. Huxley. It was with THE TIME MACHINE (1895) that he had his real breakthrough. Today he is regarded as one of the all-time greatest authors of science fiction.

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First Sentence
In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries the story of mankind upon this planet undergoes a change of phase. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Clipper 314 on 4 Jan. 2013
Format: Hardcover
I have read a few of his books and have always 'been in touch' with where he is writing from... and still find it hard to believe that War of the Worlds was written in the 19th Century. I was looking forward to reading this book but fairly soon started skim reading as I found it all a bit too much with multiple events and characters interwoven with blasts at every type of government system there appears to be. The 'congestion' of information on every page did I'm afraid put me off and only occasionally did I properly read a few pages in the normal style of absorbing the content. Yes a masterly work with the expectation of gas and chemical warfare taking place...and the vision of an Air Dictatorship in charge, but not for the faint hearted.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Gareth Wilson - Falcata Times Blog TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 5 Feb. 2011
Format: Paperback
HG Wells has always been a bit of a guilty pleasure for myself, I've loved his War of the Worlds, I thoroughly enjoyed The Time Machine and have been entertained many a time by The Island of Dr Moreau. So when this title was rereleased in hardback by Gollancz, I felt it was time to reacquaint myself with this prolific author and to see what this title was about.

Whilst I hadn't read this book before I was wondering exactly what I was letting myself in for with this title from his later period of writing and whilst a number of events had an echo within our own history you can see the authors political views coming through quite strongly as well as his idealised version of society. It is well written, the characters engaging and the concepts discussed will generate quite a varied number of discussions amongst readers and whilst many feel that they can avoid reading this due to the films that have been released they don't do this title any real justice for the work that's within. Definitely a title that I'd suggest that you read once as it is not only the shape of things to come (at least genre wise) but a title that will have influenced a great many of today's writers who have taken Well's torch and carried it proudly.
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Format: Hardcover
First off, the Hardcover version is brilliant. It's a nice edition and makes me look very intellectual on the journey home from school on the tram. I have no faults there.

The book itself is somewhat a book of two halves. It is a very well written book and contains a lot of great ideas. However the book is about 420 pages and for those wanting a straight up sci-fi novel, look elsewhere, for the first 100 odd pages, Wells recounts established History, and personally, having chosen to read the novel for utopian novel and as one who has studied early 20th Century International relations, I found it dragged a bit but once you get to about halfway through Book II, it's all pretty great there on in.

I found A Modern Utopia, his other discourse and proposition for a utopian society, unfocused but on reflection, enjoyed it a lot more than this one.

Overall it is enjoyable but I have enjoyed some of his other works much more and felt I it could have been a lot shorter, but this is all just my opinion...
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23 of 29 people found the following review helpful By S. J. Newton on 16 May 2007
Format: Paperback
This is without doubt one of the major works of speculative fiction of the 20th century, and the fact that it is still so little known and so hard to get hold of is ample fuel for conspiracy theorists the world over - thank God, finally, there is a new edition! It presents itself as a history book written in the 22nd century, covering the previous 400 years; the rise and fall of capitalism and the establishment of a utopian world government. Whilst Wells' own communistic ideology shines through, it is nevertheless a reasoned, accessible attempt to discuss the geopolitical forces which shape our world and to debate the future of our species and our society. Wells is profoundly against the laissez-faire approach to social and political development, and argues for an intelligent, directed interventionism towards a more just and egalitarian future. It's possible to read this book as a counterargument to such dystopian classics as Zamyatin's "We", Huxley's "Brave New World", or Orwell's "1984", but at the same time it's hard to dismiss the suspicion that Wells' political and ideological enemies have happily buried this controversial and deeply thoughtful work whilst championing its "dark vision" contemporaries.

"The Shape of Things to Come" is profoundly anti-capitalist, anti-imperialist, and anti-corporate feudalist. It effortlessly exposes and deconstructs the cynical manipulations which drive world politics; in the age of the oil wars and the artificial enemy, it's more relevant than ever.

I would put this book on any O-level or A-level curriculum. I'd challenge any thinking person with hope for the future of our society to read this book and disagree. You might not agree with Wells, but you can't deny that this is a topic we should all be talking about.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Martin Beecroft on 5 Sept. 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
You either love Wells or you hate him. The Shape of Things to Come is a fascinating book and I found a good read. There are plenty of reviews from other contributors and I would suggest reading those.

I would point out though that I read the Kindle version and, whilst I am a lover of the Kindle, here is yet another example of the publishers failing to properly proof read their Kindle versions of books before releasing them. The formatting of 'years', of which there are many in this book,is appalling eg z000 instead of 2000, zoi6 instead of 2016 etc etc. One gets used to the failure and quickly compensate for it but I find it very annoying when paying for a book (including VAT in the case of Kindle versions)to find sloppy editing and poor proof reading. From reading reviews of other Kindle versions of books it would appear that this is becoming a common problem which is a great shame as it will undoubtedly put some readers off buying Kindle and Kindle books.

However, this is a good read and I would not wish to put anyone off reading it.
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